The Duterte regime’s tagging of the Iranian side as the ‘enemies’ and his default position of siding with the US terrorist aggressor points out to his apathy towards the welfare of OFWs in the region. He is neither capable of guarding his repulsive tongue nor of exercising prudence in this turbulent moment in history. By eating his own words thereafter and saying that he might still reconsider his neutrality, Duterte is implying that he is more than willing to allow the Philippines to become the US military’s launching pad against Iran. This then makes AFP a hostile force in the Middle East which is detrimental to its supposed task of evacuating Filipinos to safety. Worst, the Duterte regime should have realized that by putting OFW lives at stake for his pro-US default position, he has only turned Filipinos in Iraq and Iran into collateral pawns in favour of US aggression against the Iranian people.
If this regime is really concerned about the situation of OFWs in the Middle East, then Duterte should make a clear stand of opposing US intervention in Iraq. He should have known that it was the US imperialist war freaks who started this strife by luring an Iranian general on an official diplomatic mission to attend de-escalation talks arranged by Trump which was later unveiled as a US-planned assassination operation.
The last thing imperiled OFWs need at this time is a thief sent by Malacañang in the person of Cimatu. Migrante International is appalled that the ‘Pabaon General’ is once again being tapped by the US-Duterte regime for evacuation coordination in the Middle East. May we remind the Duterte administration that it was none other than OWWA which confirmed back in 2003 that no evacuation took place at all during the early stages of the US-Iraq war. The former Arroyo regime allocated US$293,500 to Cimatu’s massive evacuation operations in the Middle East but as it turned out, the funds were spent to deploy 51 Filipino soldiers and to purchase military equipment to aid the US military in its terrorist invasion of Iraq.
Aside from Cimatu’s involvement in the Php 150 Million botched repatriation mission in Lebanon during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict, Cimatu was likewise one of the notorious ‘Pabaon Generals’ who were accused by former AFP budget officer Col. George Rabusa of receiving at least Php 50 Million send-off money from the former Arroyo regime.
Notwithstanding the fact that he is assigned as Environment Secretary, the Duterte regime can’t simply get enough of him for his corruption skills and this only demonstrates Duterte’s insincerity in securing the safety and security of OFWs. We warn the Duterte regime that concerned Filipino migrants and their families will pay close attention to evacuation fund outflows to ensure that efficient and actual repatriation of affected OFWs occur and that not a single cent will end up in the pockets of corrupt government officials especially with Pabaon General Cimatu in charge.
Cimatu is bound to fail on his supposed mission to rescue imperiled OFWs as his appointment was forwarded by US puppets and war hawks in AFP. Given his notorious record of corruption, his appointment as evacuation head is a slap in the face of migrants who are longing to return safely to their families.
The Philippines has nothing to gain from Duterte’s warmongering and conspiring follies against the Iranian people. It is incumbent that the government focuses all its energy in saving Filipinos from emergent perils instead of having Duterte spout hostile wranglings against Iran. Migrante International strongly condemns the Duterte regime’s warmongering stance and puppetry to US imperialist interests at the expense of the safety and security of OFWs. Together with peace-loving Filipino migrants and their families, we say NO to the US terrorist wars of aggression. We pronounce PEACE and SOLIDARITY with the struggling Iranian and Iraqi people.